In yesterday’s Chronicle of Higher Education, a short article commented on a new survey that examined the relationship between colleges and universities and their surrounding towns. The results were presented at the annual conference of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities and top honors went to the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Southern California.
Why is it important for colleges and universities to have good “civic partnerships” with their surrounding towns?
Well, a town is an extension of a college campus. Students should not only feel comfortable on campus, but they should also be excited to explore the world outside of the campus gates.
Also, towns and cities can determine if a college or universities is allowed to complete certain campus improvement projects, such as new buildings or stadiums. If there is a poor relationship, sometimes those projects may be delayed.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, this survey recognizes schools that have given back to their communities. Community service is a great opportunity for any college student and it is great for students to see positive results right outside their front doors.